As the impeachment inquiry continues to move forward, President Donald Trump has been engaged in rage tweeting, suggesting that he’s even more unhinged that we ever suspected.
But if Trump thought the whistleblower complaint from a member of the intelligence community was a problem for him, it turns out there’s another one that was filed regarding some questionable actions taken at the Department of the Treasury and IRS, the Washington Post reports:
“This whistleblower alleges a whole different category of impropriety: that someone has been secretly meddling with the Internal Revenue Service’s audit of the president.”
That allegation has been confirmed by Business Insider:
“In a letter recently filed as part of his bid to obtain six years’ worth of the president’s tax returns, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Richard Neal, wrote that he received a credible complaint from a whistleblower at the end of July.
“The complaint, Neal wrote, alleges ‘inappropriate efforts to influence’ the IRS audit of Trump’s tax returns.”
As we’ve learned since he first announced his candidacy back in 2015, Trump steadfastly refuses to let anyone see his tax returns, even going so far as to lie and allege that since he’s under audit, he can’t release them. (The IRS has noted on several occasions that a taxpayer under audit is free to share his or her taxes with anyone even while being audited).
So now that we know there’s a second complaint from a whistleblower, what does that mean when it comes to what happens next?
For one thing, it means that it should now be that much easier for House committees such as Neal’s to get Trump’s taxes, according to Daniel Shaviro, the Wayne Perry Professor of Taxation at New York University Law School:
“Specific grounds for concern about audit interference would appear to me to make the legal case for discovery [of the tax records] overwhelming.”
Patrick Cotter, a former federal prosecutor, noted that if Trump or a member of his administration tried to interfere with an audit, that would be a felony:
“If you tried to interfere with an audit — the way that normally happens is people lie. So if someone were trying to interfere with an audit — and of course one of the purposes of the audit is to try to figure out how much you owe and collected — then you could be prosecuted for tax evasion.”
If indeed Trump short-circuited an audit into his taxes, that charge could be stacked atop the many already being considered by the House impeachment committee. And it may all but guarantee that we get a long hard look at those Trump tax returns before the 2020 election.
Things are getting worse by the day for Trump. If he had any damn sense (and he clearly doesn’t) he’d resign right now.